Statement by Minister Paradis : Canada’s response to Typhoon Haiyan

November 19, 2013

Check Against Delivery

Thanks for joining us once again as we make sure Canadians stay informed about the situation and Canada’s response.

Canada is working hard to ease the suffering of those impacted by the super-storm that swept through the Philippines nearly two weeks ago.

The overall impact of the typhoon is only now starting to emerge.

And it is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of this crisis.

As many as 13 million people are believed to have been affected in some way.

About 4 million are displaced.

And over one million houses are reported to have been damaged or destroyed.

Still, despite the large-scale devastation, we are beginning to see progress.

Contributions from all over the world keep coming in.

And these are being converted into action on the ground.

Canada has been engaged from the onset, and helping affected areas at the request of the Philippine government.

Before the typhoon hit we gave $30,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help them prepare.

24 hours after it made landfall, we pledged an additional $5 million, allowing assistance to be rapidly delivered.

And 24 hours after that, we established the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, with our Government matching the generosity of Canadians dollar-for-dollar.

In addition, Canada’s support for key United Nations agencies contributed to the early response to the crisis.

Canada is the fifth largest donor to the Central Emergency Response Fund, which released $25 million in response to the devastation.

Our Strategic Partnership with the Canadian Red Cross Society allowed for the deployment of an emergency field hospital and medical team last week.

They arrived on Saturday night and are now working to find the best place to set up the hospital in Ormoc.

The hospital will run for 12 to 14 hours a day and provide basic health and surgical care to as many as 300 people each and every day.

It is also equipped to immunize up to 1,000 children.

The Canadian military’s Disaster Assistance Response Team has also been deployed to the Philippines. As I mentioned, over four million people have been displaced, with more than one million from the region served by DART alone.

We are proud that our men and women in uniform are once again saving lives and bringing much help to those in need.

Canada has reacted efficiently and effectively to this crisis.

But, the situation continues to evolve, and as we have said since the beginning, Canada continues to monitor the situation closely.

This evolution is what led the Government to announce an additional $15 million yesterday, as part of our Relief Fund.

This brings Canada’s total support for the humanitarian organizations on the ground to over $20 million.

Of that amount, $12 million has been allocated to the following international organizations:

  • The United Nations World Food Program will receive $4 million to address immediate food assistance;
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund will receive $3 million to help address emergency water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, child protection and psycho-social needs;
  • The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will receive $2 million to address immediate relief needs;
  • The International Organization for Migration will receive $2 million for camp coordination and management needs;
  • The World Health Organization will receive $800,000; and,
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will receive $200,000.

But Canadian humanitarian organizations are also key players in the international response.

Something of which all Canadians can be proud.

The remaining funding has been allocated to the following Canadian humanitarian organizations:

  • $1 million will go to CARE Canada to help it provide emergency shelter;
  • $1 million will go to Médecins Sans Frontières Canada to help it provide emergency health care;
  • $1.5 million will go to Oxfam Canada to help it provide safe water and sanitation facilities;
  • $1.5 million will go to Plan Canada to help it provide emergency shelter, safe drinking water, essential household items, and health and hygiene sensitization;
  • $1 million will go to Save the Children Canada to help it provide critical water, sanitation and hygiene, education and child protection services;
  • And $2 million will go to World Vision Canada to help it provide emergency household items, essential hygiene items and psychosocial support for children and women.

Over the coming months, the people of the Philippines will face enormous challenges as relief efforts continue and recovery and reconstruction begin.

Our support will be needed for quite some time.

Knowing this, I am struck by the many incredible expressions of support from all parts of the world.

In particular, I want to sincerely thank all Canadians who have donated to registered Canadian charities in support of the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

Already, donations from individual Canadians total more than $19.6 million.

Our government will match all eligible donations.

I also know that many Canadians of Filipino descent are still waiting to hear from family and friends.

Please know that we share your concern.

Canadian consular officials are standing by 24/7 to provide assistance.

As this crisis evolves, our government will continue to provide support and assistance.

And we will make sure Canadians stay informed every step of the way.

I will now take your questions.